President Barack Obama and top Congressional leaders are set to meet this morning to begin discussing a deal to avert the so-called fiscal cliff.It comes about a month and a half before a spree of new tax increases and spending cuts are set to take effect if no deal is reached, which the Congressional Budget Office warns could lead to a short recession.
The loaded meeting roster includes Obama and the top two Congressional leaders from both parties. Here’s an overview from the meeting, from the White House:
In the morning, the President will host the bipartisan, bicameral leadership of Congress at the White House to discuss a balanced approach to reduce the deficit and strengthen our economy. The Vice President will also attend. The President will be joined by Majority Leader Reid, Minority Leader McConnell, Speaker Boehner and Leader Pelosi. There will be a pool spray at the top of this meeting in the Roosevelt Room.
As it stands, Obama and Democrats come into the summit wanting to balance spending cuts with tax increases on incomes above $250,000. Boehner, McConnell and other Republicans have brushed aside any notion of tax increases but have been willing to add “more revenue” by closing loopholes and deductions.
The meeting follows two days of talks earlier in the week among Obama and both labour and business leaders. Obama also held a press conference earlier in the week, in which he pushed the idea that he had a “mandate” to implement his plan.
“The majority of voters agreed with me. More voters agreed with me on this issue than voted for me,” Obama said. And on Thursday, Press Secretary Jay Carney said that Obama “will not sign, under any circumstances, an extension of tax cuts for the top 2 per cent of American earners.”
We’ll bring you updates from the big summit as they come…
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